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  • Writer's pictureMeenakshi Raje

Malala A girl from Swat Valley

Today is the end of the day for Jaipur Literature Festival.It was pleasure to have the beautiful session today.

A session today was My name Malala, Malala Yousafzai in conversation with Pragya Tiwari.



Noble peace prize winner and Best selling author Malala's journey was challenging.From being an education activist in the Swat Valley in Pakistan to her pathbreaking work with the Malala Fund,She has emerged as an international voice in the fight for education for all and ending gender discrimination.Her latest book, "We are displaced-My Journey and Stories from refugee girls around the world",she gave an inside look into her inspirations,Journey and roots.


The conversation started by welcoming Malala and the first question was about what it was like for her to be able to tell her own story and what actually she wanted to achieved with her 2nd book where she introduced all of these young women ,who normally remain hidden behind statistics.

Malala then replied that it was the year 2007-2009,she could not go to school because of spreadup of extremism and terrorism in Swat valley.A valley which was known for tourism was now under the control of Talibans and they banned female education officially .


She told further,"It was a difficult journey and when I started speaking out,I was attacked for raising my voice .I decided to share my story because for me,it was crucial that we make sure we secure this part of history that we tell our stories because before we even know it,they are erased and nobody ever knows what has happened".

She thanked the support she got globally.

She has been to many refugee camps as she told and there she decided to write the book to tell the stories of young girls who lost their home.


Another question was from she made the distinction between refugees and internally displaced.She told that ,the people who are refugees ,its based on what data tells us and most oftenly we hear about don't know that they are displaced within their own boundary.

She further said,"I was one of them in Swat valley.we could not go to our village straight away,because the road was blocked by Taliban".They have to change the route and the place of stay too for three months.That was the phase of uncertainty.She was homeless and the things she missed badly was her school bags and books,which she didn't packed because packing of other necessary things were important.

After three months when she returned ,the buildings were completely destroyed and most things were vanished.

Moving to another place for survival the difficult task as one have to leave their home for forever.


In the next question about home she replied a sense of belonging, loyalty and love for that land.Nobody wants to get detached from their motherland but you don't know what situation you have to face and what would be the reason for your migration.


She was asked about the courage she got to speak up and raise her voice.She told that she wanted to have her education and she was well aware of the problems and difficulties of an uneducated female.At that time more than 400 schools were destroyed and on the radio, announcement was made of the ban of female education.She was inable to process that.It was about her future .So she decided to speak up.


She told about her funds ,i.e;Malala's Fund.It is working in more than 8 countries including India and Pakistan.The main focus is to invest in local educators and activists who are working on Girl's education.

Pragya next questioned about how she deal with level of stress and anxiety.

She told that the only principle she follows to speak truth and to stand with voiceless and vulnerable one.She told,"I am more careful now.I don't tell lie rather I remain silent".


She gave message to activists in India that to protest silently and speaking out is empowering and its important to hear them.


She added that she dream to see every girl in school and getting their aspirations fulfilled .Her wish is also that she could she India and Pakistan to be friends and wished that the hatred between these two countries may end soon.

This was the end of the fascinating conversation.

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